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Prevalence of White Collar Crime Higher than Perception

May 14th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer, white collar crime, credit card fraud, identity theft, price misrepresentations, street crime, mobile devices and crimeThere are numerous examples of white collar crime in popular culture. Box office standouts like American Hustle and Wolf of Wall Street are two hugely popular films just released in the last year whose plots revolve around the crime.

Often, celebrities and other notable figures who find themselves in trouble as the result of white collar crime remain fodder for news reporters and other media outlets long after their cases have made their way through the courts.

Yet despite the seeming prevalence of white collar crime on our television sets, movie screens, and newspapers, many people simply consider themselves far removed from such criminal offenses, and are likewise mistaken about the rate at which they occur in real life. Unfortunately, many studies and statistics prove that these perceptions are simply not true.

Troubling Statistics

A study performed in the recent past showed that white collar crime affected more individuals in the United States than every other type of crime combined. In fact, in 2010, the National Public Survey on White Collar Crime found that approximately 25 percent of households in America had been affected by white collar crime that year.

The survey was performed on just over 2,500 adults and included questions about their experiences with common sources of white collar crime, including mortgage and credit card fraud, identity theft, losses due to less than honest advice from stockbrokers, Internet scams, and price misrepresentations.

The study helped show the staggering number of people affected by white collar crime, and also tended to prove that this type of crime is not victimless or far removed from actual people. That survey also noted that people are far more concerned with white collar crimes they feel are more serious, like identity theft, than others.

The study found that the most common white collar crimes were credit card fraud, the misrepresentation of prices, and repairs that were unnecessary. It was also found that despite the acts being considered at law to be criminal, individuals were far more likely to report the incidents to their financial institutions than they were to report the incidents to law enforcement.

A Shift in Crime

In years past, data has revealed that what is considered “street crime” has been waning, perhaps for decades, while white collar crime is on the rise. Some suggest that the increase in white collar crime is due to the fact that there is often a higher return on investment for such crime. Also, it takes advantage of the increase in information and the current economy; the internet’s popularity produces greater profits. Finally, it exploits the widespread use of consumer electronics and mobile devices.

Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with a white collar crime, hiring a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in such matters is crucial to the success of your case. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley for a consultation with one of our attorneys who has successful experience representing clients charged with white collar crime. Our offices are located in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.

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